Top 5 Nocturnal
Eurasian Eagle Owl
4. Honey Badger
Height at shoulder 45 to 70cm, weight 15 to 23kg. Coat
sandy to reddish brown, with paler, spotted underparts.
Face has black and white markings and backs of ears are
black with long tufts.
Caracals like to pluck fur
and feathers from their prey before eating, using their
birds, lizards, small antelope, also domestic livestock.
A litter of 1 to 4 is
born after gestation of 69 to 78 days, in a hollow tree
or disused antbear hole.
Open, dry country from semi-desert to savanna.
Southern Africa - throughout most areas. Also Arabia
across to North-west India.
Despite their stocky build, these
cats can jump up to 2 - 3m to knock down a guinea fowl
STATUS: Fairly secure
The largest rodent in southern Africa - Length 84cm,
weight 17kg. Crest of stiff hairs on head.
upper body and hind-quarters are covered with black and
white striped quills for defence. Nocturnal, they
shelter by day in caves, burrows or crevices in rocks.
Bulbs, tubers, fruits,
they also damage crops and trees. Gnaw bones to obtain
1 to 3
pups born in a grass-lined nest in the underground
burrow system. One litter per year.
A wide variety of habitats,
(except forests or dry desert).
Africa, except Namibian coastline.
Porcupines DO NOT shoot out
their quills in defence - if threatened, they run
quickly backwards or sideways, jabbing the quills into
Eurasian Eagle Owl
STATUS: Common in
some regions, endangered in others, extinct in the
This is the world's largest owl, matched in weight by
the Snowy owl, in wingspan by the Giant Eagle Owl.
the wild, they may live up to 20 years. In captivity 60
years has been recorded.
Mice, rabbits, even foxes, young sheep & Roe deer.
Also birds, including birds of prey.
They nest in woodland & on cliff
ledges. The female lays 1 to 3 eggs and incubates them
on her own for about 33 days. The male brings her food,
continuing for another month.
All types of habitat from
forests to deserts.
Scandinavia, Russia, the Middle East & Asia and as far
south as the Sahara desert in Africa.
Despite their size, these owls
weigh only about 3 - 4 kg
to 12 kg. Small and stocky, with strong front legs and
long claws for digging.
Upper parts (mantle)
grizzled grey with white border, coloured brown by soil,
lower parts pure black.
These clearly visible
contrasting colours are a warning to keep away
Very varied - includes
scorpions, mice, spiders, insects, lizards, frogs,
snakes, also fruits, honey and bee larvae.
1 to 3 young are born in a
burrow or among rocks.
Open, dry savanna to dense forest - almost every habitat
except true desert.
Throughout southern Africa to
Morocco, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia. Arabia to Turkestan,
DID YOU KNOW..?
Honey farmers hate them for ripping open bee hives.
The conservation solution is to mount hives on poles out
Johannesburg Zoo's logo features a Honey
Badger, known for persistence and resilience.
height 66 - 75 cm.
Males weigh 26 - 41 kg, females
26 - 34 kg. They hunt alone but gather in small family
Nomadic, moving from water hole to water
hole, but never further than 10 km from water. When
threatened, the shaggy mane can be raised so that they
scavengers, they also eat small animals, fruit and
female digs a burrow shortly before giving birth to a
litter of 1 to 4 pups, average 3. Both parents feed the
weaned at 8 - 12 months.
Tropical savanna, grasslands,
semi-desert, scrub forest and woodland.
Middle East, Pakistan and western India.
Europe, but occasionally seen in Anatolia.
DID YOU KNOW..?
Like other animals
of hot climates, their ears radiate heat to help them